NTSB Identification: ATL04LA111.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 06, 2004 in Blounts Creek, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Riggs Skyraider 1, registration: N321TR
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The circumstances of the flight and if a complete preflight or fuel system check was performed by the pilot are not known. A witness stated that the airplane was on a base to final for the grass strip runway when the left wing dipped and the airplane went straight into the ground. The airplane came to rest in a field with a nose down attitude, 100 yards northwest of the runway. Based on the global positioning system (GPS) track recovered from the airplane, the flight duration was one minute and twenty seconds. Examination of the wreckage site found the airplane in the immediate area, approximately 35 degrees in a nose down attitude. The engine was buried several inches into the ground and displaced aft into the cockpit area. Examination of the airplane revealed the fuselage was buckled, the empennage was deflected towards the right side, both wings had leading edge crush damage, the left wing ribs were broken and the right main wheel was separated. The examination also revealed that there was six pounds of lead weight added to the tail section at the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer and there were no problems found with the flight controls. Further examination discovered that there was a small amount of corrosion from water inside the bowl of the carburetor that was found separated from the engine and the bowl from the other carburetor contained fuel and water. The two-inline fuel filters both contained water. The only fuel drain in the aircraft was connected to the bottom of the header tank. The drain was removed and four ounces of water was discovered in the header tank. The left wing tank had no facilities for a drain in the tank and 10 to 12 ounces of water was found in that tank. The right fuel tank had been separated and was empty.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in a stall. A factor was loss of engine power and water in the fuel.
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